Alpha EEG asymmetry, childhood maltreatment, and problem behaviors: A pilot home-based study.
BACKGROUND: Child maltreatment, trauma symptoms, and alpha electroencephalography (EEG) asymmetry have been linked to problem behaviors and alcohol use disorders. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this pilot study was to clarify the role of alpha EEG asymmetry in the relation of maltreatment and problem behaviors. It was hypothesized that adolescents with more maltreatment, trauma symptoms, and right alpha EEG asymmetry would have more problem behaviors and alcohol use. It was also hypothesized that alpha EEG asymmetry would moderate the association between maltreatment/trauma symptoms and problem behaviors. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Participants were 52 adolescents aged 12-14 years. Resting-state alpha EEG asymmetry was measured in this home-based study as a potential moderator in the association of child maltreatment and trauma symptoms to problem behaviors including alcohol use. RESULTS: Child maltreatment reports and trauma symptoms were significantly associated with problem behaviors (β = 0.259, p = 0.037 and β = 0.594, p < 0.001, respectively). Trauma symptoms were associated with alcohol-use (Incidence Rate Ratio = 1.048, p = 0.032). Right alpha EEG asymmetry moderated the positive association of trauma symptoms and problem behaviors (β = -0.383, p = 0.024). However, this was not the case for left alpha EEG asymmetry. CONCLUSIONS: Neural correlates associated with individuals' affective-behavioral profiles may play a role in the susceptibility for problem behaviors among adolescents exposed to higher levels of childhood trauma. This could be useful in developing targeted assessments and interventions to prevent or treat these problems in adolescents.
Meiers, G; Nooner, K; De Bellis, MD; Debnath, R; Tang, A
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